(September 22, 2021 – Euless, TX) It was another great opportunity to take down one of the top teams in the league, but the Spirits (40+) fall squad fell a bit short as they went toe-to-toe with one of the best offensive teams in DFW this past Wednesday night.
Five errors in the field didn’t help aid any cause and the Spirits were out-hit by the Rattlers 17 to 12, but the Spirits fought hard only to see the win slip out of their hands as the Rattlers spoiled the opportunity with an 11 to 10 win.
Every Spirits hitter in the lineup hit safely except one and of the 11 runs scored by the Rattlers, just 3 of them were earned. The Rattlers jumped out to an early, 1 to 0 lead in the top half of the first and the score remained 1 to 0 until the third when the Rattlers opened up for 6 more runs to take a 7 to 0 lead.
The Spirits finally broke the scoring ice in the bottom half of the inning after Stacy Scott drew a leadoff walk and both Earl German and Bobby Kornhauser singled to score Scott. Jonathan Duran grounded into a double-play that stifled additional scoring opportunity before Rattlers starting pitcher, Luis Ambrius struck out Eric McPherson to end the inning.
After the Rattlers beat down the Spirits pitching and defensive in the fourth and put up another 4 runs, it seemed like the mountain to climb was not only out of reach for the ghosts, but no longer within sight. But the team seemed to find some spirit somewhere and signs of life began to show in the offensive bats as the team began to battle back from the 11 to 1 deficit.
In the bottom half of the fourth, Eric Goetz reached on an error and Shawn Lee doubled to move Goetz to third. David Tipton then reached on an error that allowed Goetz to score, and a follow up single by Chris Lewis scored Lee. With runners at the corners, Shawn Hunt then singled to score Tipton and pushed Lewis to second. Scott then grounded out, but both runners were able to advance. German flew out, but too short to score a sacrifice fly run, and with two down in the inning, a single by Bobby Kornhauser kept the inning rolling as both Lewis and Hunt were able to score. The Spirits were able to cut the Rattlers lead to 11 to 6 before Duran lined out to end the inning.
The Spirits continued to hold off the Rattlers from tacking on, and in the bottom half of the fifth, the team rallied for another 4 runs after the Rattlers turned to Richard Valle to pitch. Valle was able to get McPherson to fly out, but then walked Goetz to put a runner on. Lee singled to move Goetz to second and a single by Tipton scored Goetz and moved Lee to third. Lewis then reached on a fielder’s choice that squeezed Tipton at second, but Lee was able to score to cut the Rattlers lead to, 11 to 8. A double by Hunt then scored Lewis from first base and a single by Scott moved Hunt to third. German and Kornhauser were then issued back-to-back walks, which allowed Hunt to score and the Spirits were down just one run, 11 to 10. With bases loaded, Valle was able to get Duran on swings and the Rattlers were out of the inning.
The Spirits held the Rattlers again from scoring in the sixth, despite a lead off single by Edgar Robles, and the Spirits headed into the game’s final inning as the league’s two hour time limit was nearing. McPherson and Goetz both singled to spark rally for the ghosts, but Lee grounded into a double-play that allowed Goetz to reach third and the Spirits dugout to gasp and the quick opportunity being muffled. Tipton took to the dish facing opportunity and the Spirits awaited a single or a wild pitch opportunity to present itself, but Valle was able to retire Tipton on a ground out and the Rattlers squeaked away with an 11 to 10 win.
“Tough one to lose tonight,” commented Lee after the game. “After a slow start and what appeared would be a shellacking, we seemed to get it together and rally. That part was certainly fun and kudos to the fellas for keeping their heads. The Rattlers are a great team, so losing to them isn’t something that’s a surprise really, but I think we have what it takes to get past them, so we look forward to the next opportunity.”
The team will have the opportunity to chase the win column once again next Wednesday night when they visit the Fighting Chihuahuas on Arlington Field at Texas Star. First pitch is slated for 8:45PM and you can click here for schedule details or to listen live online.